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L A Bynoe, J D Gottsch, S R Sadda, R W Panton, E M Haller, C A Gleason; An elevated hematogenous photosensitizer in the preterm neonate.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1993;34(10):2878-2880.
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PURPOSE: Human blood contains low levels of protoporphyrin IX (PP IX), a photoactive compound that produces reactive oxygen species when exposed to light. It has been proposed that photoactivation of PP IX and subsequent generation of potentially tissue-damaging reactive oxygen may be a mechanism of retinal injury in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The purpose of this study is to determine an association between blood PP IX level and infant birth-weight and gestational age. METHODS: Erythrocyte PP IX levels were measured from the umbilical cord blood of 31 neonates, both full term and preterm. Birthweights and gestational ages were recorded. RESULTS: PP IX levels in infants weighing < 1000 grams (n = 7) average 200 micrograms/dl, which is significantly higher than PP IX levels in infants weighing > 1000 grams (125 micrograms/dl, n = 24; P < 0.02). CONCLUSION: Elevated PP IX levels may place preterm neonates at increased risk for photosensitizing retinal injury.
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